Video footage of a two-months-old incident in Georgia surfaced which has stirred outrage on social media. The video reveals graphic visuals of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who stepped out for a jog in the neighbourhood, being violently attacked and shot by a father-son duo. Now, high profile-figures including world leaders, celebrities and netizens have joined the call for justice against the killing of Arbery.
In the video, the former police officer and his son carrying .357 Magnum revolver and Travis armed with a shotgun, chased unarmed Arbery down as they thought he 'looked' like the suspect involved in a series of recent local burglaries. The incident has caused outrage as no charges have been filed against Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, so far.
Watch the video here:
The 36-second distressing video footage, shared by activist Shaun King, taken from another car, shows Arbery jogging down a narrow two-lane road and around a white pickup truck stopped in the right lane, its driver's door open.
As Arbery crosses back in front of the truck a gunshot is fired. Arbery is then seen struggling with a man holding a long gun as a second man stands in the bed of the truck brandishing a revolver. Two more shots are heard before Arbery stumbles and falls face-down onto the asphalt.
I am trembling with anger over what I just witnessed. CLICK AWAY if you need to.
We need ALL HANDS ON DECK.
This is the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery.
It's one of the worst things I've seen in my entire life.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) May 5, 2020
Wanda Cooper, Arbery's mother told in an interview that the police notified her of her son's death, she was told her son was involved in a burglary and that there was a confrontation between her son and the homeowner and a struggle over a gun. She further said he was unarmed he wouldn't hurt anyone.
'Ahmaud would be alive today if he were white': Bernie Sanders
The Democratic Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, has joined calls for justice in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Sanders tweeted, "The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery must be held accountable and there must justice for Ahmaud's family. There is no doubt in my mind that Ahmaud would be alive today if he were white."
The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery must be held accountable and there must justice for Ahmaud's family. There is no doubt in my mind that Ahmaud would be alive today if he were white.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 6, 2020
A website also has been set up to create awareness about Arbery's death and to demand justice. As of May 4, no charges have been filed so far against the father or son but the police said the case is under investigation.
High-profile figures, leaders, celebrities and netizens worldwide have raised their voice on Twitter demanding justice for Ahmaud Arbery igniting discussions around #Blacklivesmatter.
Actor Hill Harper said, "His name was Ahmaud Arbery. He was only 25 when he was chased down and murdered by two white supremacists in Brunswick, Georgia. Arbery was unarmed, non-violent and broke no laws." Singer Justin Timberlake tweeted, "If you're not outraged, you should be. Justice for #AhmaudArbery."
Another Twitter user said, Remember them...Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Dante Parker. Remember all of them."
No charges filed against the father-son duo
A Georgia county prosecutor said on Tuesday he would ask a grand jury to decide if charges should be filed against a white former law enforcement officer and his son in the fatal shooting of an unarmed young black man as he ran through a small town.
"I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery," Tom Durden, acting district attorney for a neighbouring district, said in a letter posted on Facebook.
Durden, who was assigned to investigate the fatal shooting after prosecutors in Brunswick and a neighbouring district recused themselves due to potential conflicts of interest, said he would present the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County.
Grand jury might not meet until mid-June due to Covid-19 lockdown
That grand jury might not meet until mid-June or later because courts were under restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, he said. According to a police report obtained by the New York Times, Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and district attorney's investigator, told investigators the incident began when he spotted Arbery from his front yard "hauling ass" down the street.
According to a letter obtained by The NewYork Times, the prosecutor in Brunswick argued there was not probable cause to arrest the McMichaels because they were legally carrying firearms, had a right to pursue a burglary suspect and use deadly force to protect themselves.
(With inputs from Reuters)